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Foxes is the type of person one would love to meet on a night out and party the hours away with. She’s engaging, earnest and filled with wondrous asides to inspirations like Cyndi Lauper and Stevie Nicks. There is an electricity in her voice that lights up a room, but also a companionship that sticks around like an old friend. Through good and bad, through light and dark. Foxes has the divine knack of being the type of evergreen artist that has a song for every mood, as well as a set of pipes for all seasons. In the past she has taken us up to euphoric heights with affirming belters like ‘Amazing’, and been the shoulder to lay your head upon with thoughtful slow burners like ‘If You Leave Me Now’. With the release of her third album ‘The Kick’, she is back to take us out again, to dance and live our best lives and eventually, in the early hours, clear out our baggage with a dependable friend.


‘The Kick’ explodes right out of the gates with the positively effervescent ‘Sister Ray’. A vivacious track that channels the percussive dance fire of Bush, Nicks and Lennox before her, complemented with an urgent and contemporary vocal. It’s a call-back to the days when the album opener was always a slap in the face, or a call to arms, and ‘Sister Ray’ pulls a mountain of good will towards this record by just being so feverishly direct. Not to mention that iconic refrain, with its classy reference to the Velvet Underground classic - a testament to Foxes’ love of the musical greats. 


The title track follows at a brisk pace and the good times are well and truly rolling. ‘The Kick’ calls to mind the Valley girl aesthetic of Haim, and the perfectly polished pop of Carly Rae Jepsen. It's very obvious early on that this is an album that is not ‘missing the kick’ - as each track hits in its own individual way, and every song is equally impactful. For instance, ‘Growing on me’ is a bit more pensive and mature then what’s come before, but it’s subdued vocal and ear worm chorus place it on equal footing with its two hyperactive predecessors. ‘Potential’ and ‘Dance Magic’ are another pair of bombastic pop bangers, and solidifies the first half of the album as a seamlessly strong pop treat. The carelessness and freedom of youth in full sonic resplendence. The production values are sleek and seamlessly blend the peaks and troughs of the modern dance track, with the big blocky synths which were beloved by Foxes’ eighties inspirations. 


‘Body Suit’ gives us a moment to breathe with a big, expansive, eighties styled pop ballad. The song in itself is a celebration of human closeness and tactile touch, and though it may at times tiptoe the line between eighties emulation and the outright cheese the decade was known for (that sax solo is right there on the cusp) it’s earnest lyrical cadence is totally irresistible. After that brief exhale, we are back in the swing, with ‘Body Suit’s spiritual opposite. ‘Absolute’ takes the intimacy of the preceding track and takes it to a writhing, heaving dance floor where enamored bodies stick together in awkward acts of lust. It’s all wildly invigorating, truth be told. In fact, ‘wildly invigorating’ is a pretty good way of summing up the whole album, as we work our way through. The offerings are an exhaustive catalog of bangers. ‘Two Kinds Of Silence’ and ‘Forgive Yourself’ double down on the recurring motif of style and substance in equal measure - pounding pop songs paired with probing, thoughtful lyrics. And so we come to the end of the night, the lightweights have left the building and we are left with the hardcore thrill seekers and the terminally beleaguered. Of course ‘The Kick’ caters to both sides of the divide. ‘Sky Love’ for the ones who “wanna feel electric with just one touch”, and ‘Gentleman’ for those among us who will defiantly party to the end as an escape from the heartache awaiting at sun-up. As the music fades, each and every reveler will ask themselves “where did the night go?” as the delicate tones of ‘Too Much Colour’ guides them home. A witheringly beautiful post mortem of youth in all its fleeting glory.


The latest LP from Foxes is an exercise in comparing the grand and the intimate. Chasing ultimate highs and savoring the self-diagnostic that happens in their wake. Set against a vibrant electronic soundscape, the singer balances the euphoria of carnal celebration with cautionary lyrics about the pitfalls of a ‘too much, too young’ lifestyle. But make no mistake, she is not here to preach - although dangers persist, Foxes celebrates the fact that the night is there to be had. 


So throw caution to the wind and have yourself  one of those ‘Sister Ray’ kind of nights - Foxes is here to help you pick up the pieces.


‘The Kick’ is available on all streaming platforms now.